The Journal


Serving the Metropolitan Area


Since 1872



January 22nd





By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate


Syndicated by Acme Features


"...but, being an idle house, it was a hypochondriacal house."

- G. B. Shaw, "Heartbreak House"

“… they been so long on Lonely Street they never will get back…”

    - Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel”


          Take a broth of population, fast asleep... but too ignorant or frightened to dream of morning’s harsh mistress… a gumbo of insomniacs ‘n hypochondriacs...

          Now add a pinch of dried-up politician bluster, simmer in a cup of economic stagnation, liberally seasoned with corrupt left and right-wing entitlements, earmarks and resentments, stir in a cup of magical conspiracy theories and unicorn piss, waft in a breeze of race, religious and gender war...

          Voila!: a politics of panic!

          In the wild, panic has its purpose - stimulating bodies to produce chemicals necessary to enhance the fight-or-flight response. Domesticated panic, likewise, produces a torrent of adrenaline and testosterone-fueled legislation; "doing something" that may or may not protect the public, but will (usually, unless carried to an extreme… such as shutting down the government to build a healthcare system or a wall or simply setting it afire because… well… because) enhance the longevity of the sponsoring politician.  Controlled burns – they tend to redound to the benefit of the arsonist.  Cross burning.  Flag burning. Fag weddings.  Bird flu, killer bees; killer flu, murder hornets; the birds, the bugs, the Plague – squirrels, jalapeños. Snail darters.  Big cups of soda.  Underwear bombers. Sharks.  Mosquitoes.  Movie matinee shooters, beautiful walls and ugly Hollywood executives with greasy fingers.  They’re all coming to getcha!  Electrifying those… erslats all along the Mexican border in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico – too wussy, how about mines?  That Giant Peanut Panic, as just went away after last Halloween, disappearing... SPLAT!... like rotten pumpkins crashing across someone's driveway, leaving the airlines to rediscover certain other problems (like the Boeing Max contraptions) stickier than goobers!

          Denmark Groover, late state rep from down in Macon, told me how them in Atlanta were so irate over the carjackings, somebody wrote a law to make it a Federal offense, despite the fact that state legislators do not have the authority to write Federal law. No matter! A crowd of victims showed up with television cameras, so they passed it on up to the courts to deal with. "Some people are as addicted to being busybodies as others are addicted to drugs," said Thomas Sowell, and Mr. Sowell is, of course, a civil libertarian of the finest white on black striped pelt.

          Nowadays, if not 9-11, it's "for the children", the panic-stricken recite when, as every few seasons, pedophiles are found lurking under every bush or psychopaths turn schools into happy hunting grounds. But, despite the famous report by the Department of Health and Human Services that a million and a half kids were abducted in 1983, the National Center had cut that figure down to a little over three thousand two years later, 2,882 for 2001, the last year for which figures have been compiled. Of these, nearly three in four were runaways, about six hundred more were taken by family members, leaving only 59 grabbed by somebody other than a relative like that uber-stupid Mister Patterson as left his abductee under a bed, “locked in” with furniture and pillows and then went out to look for a job.   Even adding in all unidentified dead children found by the FBI, we're talking maybe… a hundred per year?  Two?

          Out’n three hundred sumpinmillion?

          “But if (our new law) saves only one life a year…” wail the Squeamish… duly noted.  And, in fact, since Q-Anon asserts that DC, New Yawk and Hollywood liberals are not only pedophiles but cannibals, the recent disclosure of Armie Hammer’s predilection for human flesh confirmed… everything!  Gotcha!

          Ain't that more "strangers" are stealing our children, demurred Ellen Goodman up in Boston, it’s that impersonal medicine, employment, education, law enforcement, daycare and the such all lead to Americans' estrangement from one another as they lurk, lobby and lollygag on Lonely Street, casting wistful, lustful glances at the playground.

          Panic likewise prospers because some as claim to speak for Renaissance get so caught up in their own tussles over ego, surf, turf, foldin’ money and next generation-vasks and maxxiens that Entropy catches a free pass. Enviro-mental cases are a case in point... the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society too busy fighting one another to mount coherent opposition to Oregon's clearcutting; fish people and clean water people spitefully killing off each other's legislation; animal-righters defending wild pigs against the flowerpeople over endangered tulip bulbs that boars (as have infiltrated America’s suburbs due to habitat destruction) like to gobble.

          Or, for the politically intoxicated coupla months back, Liz and Bernie!

          For example, the plague cure spiffled where a drug (Remdesivir) that works… sort of, allegedly racking up a score of 62 percent in the testing phases which, as any schoolboy knows, shakes out to a D-minus… against one that doesn’t (Hydrochlorothiazide) which gained status as the personal pet project of an incompetent, outgoing President who still believes that science is a deep state conspiracy to tarnish his image, destroy the economy and bewitch the electorate into raising up a raging, left-of-Bernie Socialist who will take away your guns and blow up Mount Rushmore.

          Joe Biden!  (Although if I had gotten into that race, that White House Duck Commander and his army of quacks and Sleepy Joe and his army of Armies in pizza parlour basements would really have had something to squawk about… the both!)

          And more bores, everywhere, celebrities!... donning  overcoats of deep thought and deeper righteousness, lending their profiles to high-visibility causes (always, as it seems, just when they have a book or movie or CD coming out, as witness the explosion of print and electronic recapitulations of numerous Gomers’ three weeks as an aide to an undersecretary to an acting White House placeholder)!  Get him ten minutes of MSNBC or the five on Fox.

          Not to mention common criminals finding the cloak of political "activism" useful cover for their depredations, speaking of tree destruction to enable those books and megawatts of coal-fired electricity to post and pamper those electronic versions of same.  Nasty little Earth Liberation Front elves potshotting the few remaining summer job bush-clearers in national forests (Hi, Austin!), defending the rights of dead trash trees to become tinder for “organic” wildfires which then generate organic mudslides.  That deaf psycho who torched three of those new hearing aid outlets as “genocidal” to his ilk.  Them dopers and burglars and such who turned Occupy Minneapolis, Seattle, Nashville and Wall Street into a twenty-first century People’s Parks, like that original in Berkeley or, on the other end, neo-Nazis attempting to crash gun-rights rallies (with, of course, lots and lots of guns) in the hope of starting a Revolution (or, at least, a putsch) as culminated in the Pugoesque coup du cocasse (look ‘em up in your French dictionary) as kicked off the Year After the Worst Year Ever at the Capitol.  Conspiracy theorists denying Elvis Presley’s demise, the moonshot or insisting that plague vaccinations are a Deep State plot to turn Don Jones autistic with Bill Gates’ or George Soros’ nanochips while terrified children by the tens of thousands are wearing their counterfeit masks from China to bed and so dying of suffocation – just like George Floyd.  Marginal doctors implanting or enhancing "false memories" of molestation or Satanic rituals to be harvested in cold cash by attorneys.

          Who were those masked men?

          "Everybody is a victim," wrote Mona Charen upon the occasion of Lorena Bobbitt striking a blow for feminism and getting 45 days' confinement in a bughouse, "and to victims, all is permitted." (A sentiment echoed, stage left, by peaceniks who defended the "moral authority" of G. Jalen House and Cindy Sheehan as absolute and even ran the latter up against Nancy Pelosi, though to no avail.)

          That is, those victims as can pay lawyers... in cold, contingency cash or marketable publicity (as witness that jailhouse shrink whose two hours with whatzisname, the moviehouse Joker-face shooter, paid off with a book that reached Number Eight on the New York Times best seller list).  Those as can’t… well consider that West Virginia gives three years’ negligency hard time to this guy as lost his job and home and moved into an old bus with his kid who got the frostbite.  California, fighting back for ascendancy in the three, two and one-strike sweepstakes, swept another derelict into the PIC for a repeat offender 25-to-life for breaking into a church soup kitchen to steal food.  And, segueing from subhuman to the ridiculous, a tenner to that hoverboarding dentist for… successfully… extracting a tooth whilst on his hoverboard.  (Meanwhile, due to the overcrowding, states are pardoning and paroling drug pushers, robbers, rapists and murderers to make room for these fiends.)  And, of course, all those Zero Tolerance idiocies... school expulsions for asthma medicine and Swiss Army knives, Midol and Certs and Tweety Bird keychains.

          "Cough drops appear harmless," warned school nurse Brenda Isaac in another West Virginia ZT fiasco. "But none of them are!"

          Those sneaky Smith Brothers?  Lock ‘em up!

          "Many years ago, late at night, two police officers threw me into an alley and beat me up so badly that I had to go to a hospital," complained… or, more precisely, boasted… one John Engelman to the Oakland Tribune a few Halloweens back. "I had not been doing anything illegal, immoral or even impolite. I never learned why they did it, although I suspect they mistook me for someone else.  Liberals have difficulty understanding this, but it is not possible for the police to be effective without occasionally overstepping their boundaries."

          Needless to say, he wasn’t black.

          Consider, too, the case of this Chicago lady, Magica Bottari, hauled down to Belleair Shore, Florida... west of Disneyland... on a six year old warrant for illegally drinking iced coffee on the unmagical kingdom beach with her mother, the local astrologer: "It's so clear that these rules or laws or whatever they are not about keeping peace or keeping harmony, they are about controlling people and making people feel unwelcome."

          Replied former Mayor Robert Clayton, defending the unmagical fugitive snatch and proposing three years’ jail time for fleeing his $30 ticket, "... you have to defend your town!"  Hey – he’s a bleeding heart compared to the Georgia jurist who socked a mother with twenty long ones for walloping her boy with a belt after he beat up some classmates and, admittedly, the teacher.

          Panic is global, as well as national… economic as well as political.  The price of oil, we now know, is largely calculated on fear and spite (like the spat between the Russians and the Saudis that brought some brief, temporary relief to America’s road warriors), not the supply and demand of the here and now.  So if Iran builds nuclear bombs and threatens to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, America (or maybe Israel) assassinates some Iranians who, in turn, assassinate some Texans and a Saudi prince or two as isn’t busy chopping up domestic enemies or nosy journalists.  The price of oil goes up, profits to the oil companies go up and overt or covert payoffs to the politicians and parasites of the world… they go up too.

          Where is any incentive not to follow the politics of panic?  (Kindly note – we haven’t even mentioned  Infowars, antifa, the Boogaloo Boys, goop or Marianne Williamson.  Yet.)

          "Love casts out fear," Aldous Huxley reminds us in "Ape and Essence", "but conversely fear casts out love... Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth." AIDS activist Larry Caputo adds another item to Huxley's catalog: "...fear casts out the discriminating power to know what should be feared and how it should be feared."